Conservative political commentator and media host Ben Shapiro released a video fact-checking the “fact-checkers” regarding Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s claims about the January 6 riots. Last week, AOC posted a 90-minute Instagram video in which she shared what she felt and experienced during the riots.
Showing Capitol Hill’s map, Shapiro begins to explain that Capitol Hill is not just the Capitol building. It’s a bunch of different places. He explains that not all congressional offices are located in the Capitol building—some are located in the Longworth Building, with some located in the Cannon Building.
AOC’s offices are located in the Cannon Building, which is down First Street across Independence Avenue. Now, as Shapiro explains, those buildings weren’t breached, “they breached the Capitol Building itself.”
Before going into the details of AOC’s video, Shapiro clarifies that AOC never lied and said that she was in the Capitol building. “She didn’t lie and say that she was in the Capitol building. Some people are saying that she lied. She didn’t. What she says is that she felt like she was in imminent fear of her life.”
The video then shows a portion of AOC’s video, showing how she hid behind her bathroom door as she heard yelling outside. “And I hear, ‘where is she? Where is she?’ And this was the moment where I thought everything was over.”
AOC then continued, and it turns out that the person who was banging on her door was actually a Capitol Police officer. “We know from the day of the Capitol police officers were, in fact, getting people to leave the Cannon House Building and move to safer locations,” Shapiro explains.
However, AOC continued that after the Capitol Hill police officer went into the office, “things weren’t adding up. There was no partner there, and no one was yelling. He wasn’t yelling like ‘this is Capitol Police.’ He was looking at me and all this anger and hostility—did he not say he was Capitol Police on purpose? Was he actually trying to put us in a vulnerable situation? All these crazy thoughts go through your mind. Are some officers safer than others because they have white-sounding names or male-sounding names?”
After this encounter, she went into Katie Porter’s office, which is right next to hers. On MSNBC, Porter shared her recollection of what happened after AOC went into her office. “First, she saw me, and we waved, went into my office, and a couple of seconds later she knocked, and she said, ‘Could we come in?’”
“I said, ‘Of course.’ Her staffer was trying to describe what had happened,” Porter continued. “Alex is really usually unfailingly polite and very personable. And she wasn’t even really talking to me—she was opening up doors. And I was like, ‘Can I help you? What are you looking for?’ and then she said, ‘I’m looking for where I’m going to hide.’”
Shapiro continues, saying that AOC apparently didn’t have sneakers and was wearing high heels on the riots’ day. She asked Katie Porter if she had any sneakers, who then went to one of her staffers and told her to give her sneakers.
“In any case, what AOC says is not actually lying. I’ve said this already. Her emotional response may not be well-calibrated, or maybe it’s really well-calibrated. And maybe that’s how she responds emotionally,” Shapiro went on. “People respond emotionally in crisis circumstances differently.”
Representative Nancy Mace, who is two doors down from AOC’s office, said, “AOC made clear she didn’t know who was at her door. Breathless attempts by the media to fan fictitious news flames are dangerous. My office is two doors down. Insurrectionists never stormed our hallway. Egregious doesn’t even begin to cover it. Is there nothing the MSM won’t politicize? Because here’s the way that Newsweek covered what else he said.”
Shapiro then read what Newsweek reported: “Ocasio-Cortez said writers actually entered her office, forcing her to take refuge inside her bathroom after her legislative director, Geraldo Bonilla-Chavez, told her to ‘hide, hide, run and hide.’ As members of the mob banged against the door. Ocasio-Cortez believed this was the moment where everything was over.”
According to Shapiro, AOC’s original statement was merely an “out-of-proportion emotional response to the events that were actually happening immediately surrounding her,” but it was not a lie.
“Why was Alexander Cortez’s story leading the news for several days? There were several Washington Post editorials about how brave she was and how wondrous she was. Why was she leading the news?” Shapiro asked. “Of all the people who had relevant stories to tell on January 6th, she is like somewhere near the bottom of the list because, again, she was not in the Capitol building itself. Some legislators were in the Capitol building itself.”
Shapiro says that if the media wanted to be objective and fair in covering the day’s events, they would have started with the people who were in the most physical danger. However, the reason they didn’t is that AOC was willing to say “completely unhinged things.”
“The media wants to make that the number one story,” because “they love the implication,” said Shapiro. “That’s the part that the media loves. That’s why the media spun it up.”